Saturday, January 26, 2002

i m very sure my dreams arent jus black & white, at least the ones i remember. but too private & stoopid to disclose, sorry !! haha!!!

Friday, January 25, 2002

[ kaleidoscope dreams ]

Recently a close friend of my popped me a most intriguing and though-provoking question - Do we dream in colour, or black and white ? I believe for most people the immediate answer would be of course in colour, for that is how we percieve vision in our everyday lifes. But if you gave it alittle more thought and probe your memory - are you very sure it was in colour ? Bear in mind here that the actual dream is very different from the one that you're trying to reconstruct now as your try to visualize it, for your mind would be trying to rebuilt the bits together and your perception could inadvertently add in colours that did not exist in the original dream. How then, can one remember ? Certainly not when your are in the midst of your dream for one cannot be full conscious when that is happening.

Perhaps dreams aren't really in colour, or black and white, but existing on a higher plane of consciousness where colour would no longer be necessary to convey those images. Or maybe they are both in colour and black and white, or monochromatic, or any other colour that can be conjured up by our imagination, but which is longer clear to us once we open our eyes. I can't say for sure which. Unless of course, anyone were to tell me that they had a particularly reddish, or bluish dream yesterday. Keep dreaming and find out.

Monday, January 21, 2002

An interview with the director of Amelie, Jean Pierre Jeunet :

http://www.empireonline.co.uk/features/amelie/

Sunday, January 20, 2002

With the recent screening of so many a good French movies ( Le Amelie, Le Pacte ), I have been wondering about the countless other foreign movies that we might be missing and not know about it ! That is a scary thought indeed. Having realized this, I did some checks on Alliance Francaise website and found out that we could have access to their library of books and movies if we are a member. Student membership rates are about 20 plus, but which i think we are no longer eligible for, normal rates would be about 80 dollars a year. Not too bad. Think I might join. Need to catch some other movies like Delicatessan, City of Lost Children, and also the recent Crimson Rivers, starring Vincent Cassel ( the one handed villain in Le Pacte ) and directed by Matthew Kassovitz. ( The fella who acted as Nino Quincampoix in Le Amelie ).

website : http://www.alliancefrancaise.org.sg

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Okie...some info on the dvd of [ Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain ]. Guess right at this moment they're only releasing the 2 disc special edition, with the bonus dvd covering interview with Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a short film shot by him, extras like screen tests for the various actors, trailers, tv spots, various "making of" the film, collection of storyboard. Couple other stuff I missed out. There also an easter egg which I think is only useful for dvd-rom. Picture quality wise, crisp and excellent, although the colour saturation and hue seem to suffer a little bit in contrast to the theatrical version. Warning : No english subtitles, just like Le Pacte Des Loup, I believe the French have little care of the english speaking community, especially the Brits. But the photography is compensation enough I think. At $$80+ from Amazon.fr, shipping fees included. By the way, the soundtrack is available at Borders, which I found out only after I ordered it from the net.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

dunnoe abt the first 2 questions, but no-face is those type who has no character no sense of identity, in fact he can be a miyazaki 's portrayal of the grownups. he has to take on the voice of someone else to be able to speak, imitates others to get attn, by giving away gold after he learnt its power. so naturally he s drawn to a gal like chihiro who by then is getting more sense of id. cant help but remember the little prince saying only the children know what they are looking for. all no face did is for the attn of chihiro so when he dun get it he gone berserk, of cos it s a visual way to carry on the plot.
i think the haku thing is a plotline? i dunnoe which wan is rin? the woman tat werk together with chihiro?

Sunday, January 13, 2002

I've got some questions regarding Spirited Away...I know it's probably the 100th time you guys are watching this splendid movie but I just caught it. It totally whisked me off where I sat in the GV theatre, right into Aburaya where I laughed, freaked out, cried and fell in love with the heroine....*sigh*

But anywayz....

If Haku is the God of the River (from wat I've gathered....forgive me if I made a grave mistake here), then why did he seek apprenticeship for magic long ago?

Rin doesn't seem to be one of the yunas, she looks human enuff in her own right, so how did she come to live there?

Erm...still can't figure out why no-face got chaotic while he was inside the bath house...And wat's with his affinity for Sen?

okie...methinks that's about it for now...if i can disgorge anymore queries, i'd be sure to check back here for the answers.... :)

using thumbprints to illustrate your point is, indeed, a creative idea.
ideas maybe infinite, but what if the ppl creative enuff to come up with them are limited? may i argue that this miracle is never the works of man but that of a higher force, and thus your point is valid yet humanly impossible?:P
haha, actaully my view is that generally most ideas are the same in a broad sense, jus that ppl ve got all sorta ways to package it, execute it, stylise it, blah blah blah ... the core is still unchanged.
but hey! evil rei, u r getting better by the day i see, this s the way to talk that bird down from the tree manzzz!!
Creativity..~ hmm.... something extra. If ever those toopid people started to say all idea have been use up and that there will never be new ideas, i have think up an interesting example, just refer ideas to thumbprint. It's infinite, no two are the same (i think. thought i heard someone say before that there maybe one or two the same, but wat the hack.) This example i think effectively shows how infinite ideas can be...~~

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Arggh...Gatchaman...you had to remind me about less dvds...*sob*. But but...for the sake of the Japan trip...I must persevere !!! *tightens resolve and conviction*

Hmm...wonder when my Jinroh dvd will be shipped...lala...what else to buy...

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

i tot i m in ... of coz i m interested! but damn ... u guys still have a long way to go b4 ORD leh ...
50 bucks a month ... blaue reiter tat means less dvds hahaha!
[ early planning for japan trip ]

Me, rei and Gabriel have been talking about a trip to Japan after our ORD, and I think its time we actually do some planning and homework. For a start, my brother would be going with us, which is a plus because he knows a little Japanese and have been there on 2 occasions, both Shinjuku, Tokyo. That would be where we are are heading for too. Airfare would range around 500 dollars, and we would be staying in Tokyo for a round a week touring Shinjuku, Roppongi and perhaps some other suburbs, packpacking style, living off rats, spiders. Ha. No really. Roadside stalls more probably. And lodging would be in small inns, no hotels because they tend to cost about sing 200 per day. I have did some research and it is indeed fortunate that Ghibli Studios and Miyazaki's Museum is in Tokyo

( take a look here at nausicaa.net : http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/museum/ghibliMuseumParty/ ) as well ! Cool. Its located in Inogashira Park, Mikata City which is accessible from Shinjuku. We should also visit Tokyo Towers. My plan is to save a meagre 50 dollars per month, very little but still something, at least it come up to some money which will be put into the trip when we go. Anyone else interested ?

Okie...here i go again...

This is also a reason why I created a fantasy set in Japan. Though it is a fairy tale, I don't want to make it like a western type of story which allows many possibilities for escape, and it is likely to be taken as a cliche. However, I would prefer to say that it is rather a direct descendent of " Suzume no Oyada " ( The Sparrows' Inn - a trap in which sparrows lure people by food and pleasant surroundings ) or " Nezumi no Goten " ( The Mouse's Castle - similar to " The Sparrow's Inn "), which appear in Japanese folktales. Our ancestors had been dining at the Suzume no Oyada and enjoying a feast at the Nezumi no Goten.

I created a world where Yubaba lives in a pseudo-western style to make ir seem as if it is something that has been seen somewhere else and to make it uncertain whether it is a dream or reality. And also, Japanese traditional design is a rich source for the imagination. We are often not aware of its richness and the uniqueness of our cultural heritage - from stories, traditions rites, designs, and tales of the gods. It is true that " Kachi-kachi Yama " and " Momotaro" are no longer persuasive. However, I regret to sat that it is a poor idea to push all the traditional things into a small folk-culture world. Surrounded by high technology and its flimsy devices, children are more and more loseing their roots. We must inform them of the richness of our traditions.

Saturday, January 05, 2002

Okie...this is the continuation of Miyazaki's intro for Spirited Away form the previous post...

Words are power. In the world Chihiro wandered into, words have a great importance and immutability. At "Yuya" where "Yubaba" rules, if Chihiro were to say "I don't want to do this" or "I want to go home", she would be eliminated by the sorceress. She would be made to wonder about with nowhere to go until she vanishes or is made into a hen to lay eggs until she is eaten. On the contrary, if Chihiro says "I will work here", even a sorceress can't ignore her. In these days, words are thought to be light an unimportant like bubbles, and no more than the reflection of a vacuous reality. It is still true that words can be powerful. The fact is, however, that powerless words are proliferating unnecessarily.

To take a name away from a person is an attempt to keep them under perfect control. Sen shuddered when she realized that she was beginning to forget her own name. And besides, every time she goes to see her parents at the pigpen, she becomes used to seeing her parents as pigs. In the world where Yubaba rules, people must always live among dangers which might swallow them up.

In a dangerous world, Chihiro began to come alive. The sulky and languid character will come to have a stunning and attractive facial expression by the end of the film. The nature of the world hasn't been changed in the least. I am arguing in this film that words are our will, ourselves and our power.

To be continued...

Friday, January 04, 2002

Typed out this essay found in the book "The Art of Spirited Away" sort of a introduction by Miyazaki...mostly because i was searching for more answers..though you guys might be interested to take a look too.

I would say that this film is an adventure story even though there is no brandishing of weapons or battles involving supernatural powers. However the story is not a showdown between right and wrong. It is a story in which the heroine will be thrown into a place where the good and the bad dwell together, and there, she will experience the world. She will learn about friendship and devotion, and will survive by making full use of her brain. She sees herself through the crisis, avoids danger and get herself back to the ordinary world somehow. She manages not because she has destroyed the "evil", but because she has acquired the ability to survive.

The main theme of this film is to describe, in the form of a fantasy, some of the things in this world which have become vague, and the indistinct world which tends towards erosion and ruin.

In everyday life, where we are surrounded, protected and kept out of danger's way, it is difficult to feel that we are working to survive in this world. Children can only enlarge their fragile egos. Chihiro's skinny legs and her sulky face are their symbols. However, once the reality becomes clear and once she encounters a crisis, she will surely be aware of the life she actually possesses and of a capacity for flexibility and patience, and for decisive judgement and action.

Most people just panic and collapse while shouting "It can't be true ". Those people wil be erased or eaten up in the situation in which Chihiro finds herself. In fact, Chihiro's being strong enough not to be eaten up is just what makes her a heroine. She is a heroine not because she is beautiful or because she possesses a unique mind. This is the key characteristic of this work, and therefore is a good story for 10 year old girls.

Will post the next part soon. :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

actually i typed mine report too earlier this morning but it s gone b4 i can post. i m in no mood to retype.
actaully u ve got not zero social life mah ... still got 2 invites for u to chose, jus that u too tired to go. by the time u get out of ur government job, eberyyything is gonna be alright. the only problem i see is that even u can buy more dvds when u start a decent job ... ur dvd list will still be as long. coz u buy more, u wan more.
i remember 1 good fren & colleague (really lucky at tis age to get new true fren) say to me : want what u have. i know the day i truly believe in it, i ll be a very happy man, but the day has not come yet. simple things like that are too hard for complicated ppl like me to embrace.
btw, i was reading the animator survival kit book on new year eve. wow .. am i tat passionate abt my craft??? din noe they r showing broken arrow, highly likely to be watching it if i did.
The year passed by, and I don't know where it's gone....
[ vong's annual report for the year 2001 ]

A retrospect, as we usher in the new year, on what has come and gone. For a start this must had been the most uneventful and austere new year's eve to date, and I think few would disagree that slouching in my sofa watching the hundredth-rerun of John Woo's Broken Arrow on our local channel isn't the most exciting way to commemorate one, but I sure would remember it as the most boring. A few msgs from my handphone tells me the year had indeed passed, been evil rei messaging to say "happy new year!". Appreciated. Torn between an all-nighter at Sentosa or a pub-out with my friends, I realized my heart yearned for a noisy and not quite rational state of consciousness way to celebrate the new year, but the body was unwillingly and languished with stiff reluctance. So here I am, stuck at home and posting this blog, while the icq on my computer registers myself as the only person online, a clear indication that (i) the action is happening elsewhere or (ii) I have zero social life or (iii) both. I suspect the last holds true.

Anyway, as I comtemplate my pathetic social life, let me continue on my report. Financial returns are zero, acquisition of many dvds is still ongoing, as well as many wanted but not really needed books, Government ensures I keep my job rock steady for the next year, albeit one without bonuses but with many possible extras, and notion of rejoining the creative market gets ever increasing frantic and frenetic. Investment wise, memento mori moves on with the pace of a really, really old and worn out snail and investors ( me ) threaten to pull out if progress doesn't speed up. I foresee the production schedule stretching up like an elastic and occupying the whole of this coming year. Photography comes back after a long haitus, taking pictures is not a bad way to pass time altogether.

And its been an exciting year at the movies. My yet to be acquired dvds list grows ever longer but the rate of acquisition falls way behind. Year end was particularly spectacular marked with numerous fantastic shows like Monster's Inc, LOTR, Le Pacte and Amelie, just to name a few. Go on, dish them out. I'll eat them all and digest later.

And so the year have gone and a new one arrived, as I continue to work on my prolonged project, at the same time reading more, watching more, and do hope the next coming new year's eve is worth celebrating a lot more than the one that just past, at least, not with any more Woo flicks.

ps be glad to hear any one else's year end reports ! *laughs*